Sunday, March 10, 2024


"The house never forgets the sound of its original occupants."

John Hejduk



In an anthology of essays on art titled Uncontrolled Beauty, there is a short, quirky selection by John Hejduk: "Sentences on the House and Other Sentences." I read it almost by accident and was strangely haunted by its contents.  Part I is essentially about the house and a woman.  Part II has a predilection for thoughts on death.  There is no plot.  It reads like the logging of a series of wide-ranging thoughts on the same subject.

After several readings the text became for me a memory of my mother who loved and cared for her house.  She kept her space clean, spare, and comfortable for her family.  Quiet and safe.

Some of the sentences prompted visual "short stories."  Eventually 91 became selected to become small "books" - each one not more than a couple of pages.  Essentially they are Hejduk's words paired with images.


To contain the books a doll house seemed suitable.  Finding one that was appropriate was challenging. Just as surprising as finding the essay was finding an unfinished, simple wooden house that was divided in two parts just like the essay.  Life on one side and death on the other.

The interior I decorated with wallpaper and visual ideas and words gleaned from the essay. The outside walls are stained and the roof painted.  Wooden letters are scattered and glued randomly over the exterior,  More words are applied in places appropriate to the text.

A final bonus was the presence of a small, extra room on the first floor, on the death side.  It easily housed a project made a year earlier - small books documenting the four homes owned by my parents.

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